The SMART Recovery Family & Friends Programme

The SMART Recovery Family & Friends (F&F) Programme offers an evidence-based approach to support individuals with a loved one struggling with addiction.

SMART F&F includes tools from Cognitive Behaviour Therapy and Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy in combination with the highly acclaimed CRAFT (Community Reinforcement and Family Training) programme. The programme is designed to help those affected by a loved one’s addictive behaviour to learn new ways of dealing with the challenges, thoughts and emotions that they experience.

The programme looks at areas including Positive Communication, Disabling the Enabling, Trust and Self Care. SMART F&F will help participants to view their own behaviours, challenge their thinking and find more effective ways to interact with their loved one, as well as learning ways to empower themselves.

“I came to SMART to get help dealing with my partner’s addiction. What I got are tools that help me deal more effectively with every aspect of MY life.”

SMART Recovery currently offers a weekly Online Family & Friends meeting on Mondays from 7:30-9:00 PM. There is also a F&F forum within the SMART Online Recovery Community where you can post, meet peers and gain further understanding from the resources offered. Additionally, a F&F Pilot Programme has been completed with a number of partners, and it’s anticipated that partner and community meetings will continue to expand throughout the UK.

Call for Family & Friends Facilitators

Becoming a SMART F&F Facilitator can be rewarding as well as beneficial in helping with your own recovery from a loved one’s addictive behaviour. Providing and gaining support alongside those who share similar experiences and goals is what makes mutual aid so powerful. Sharing experiences with others not only helps us with our own situations but also brings comfort and hope in the knowledge we are not facing them on our own.

Empathy is at the heart of mutual aid and it is with this in mind that we encourage our SMART F&F Facilitators have lived experience with supporting someone with addiction issues. Once you’ve put the F&F programme and tools to work in your own life, we encourage you to reach out and train to start a new F&F meeting in your community.

For those who may also be in recovery from your own addictive behaviour, we require that you have 2+ years of clear recovery time behind you and have direct experience of supporting a loved one with addiction issues.

And if you have been in recovery personally, please keep the following considerations in mind:

  • • SMART F&F meetings are designed to support those affected by a loved one’s behaviours. At times the meetings can be emotional as participants articulate how they feel. This can be hard to process if you have been through addiction, causing you to reflect on your own past behaviour and the impact it has had on your family and friends.
  • • All our SMART meetings aim to offer a safe place to come and gain support in a non- judgemental environment where individuals can be open and honest. People in recovery from their own addiction issues may find it difficult not to step in to ‘justify’ or to try to explain some behaviours. It’s important to keep in mind the aim of the meetings- to help those who are experiencing the other side.

As you consider whether to begin training as a SMART F&F Facilitator, feel free to contact your SMART National Coordinator or the Central Office for more information.

To become a F&F facilitator …

  • • You will need to complete each of the SMART Online Training Courses, starting with SMART for Life and finishing with F&F training.
  • • Plan to attend 5 SMART F&F meetings before starting to facilitate – consider attending our weekly online F&F meeting every Monday at 7.30 PM. Leigh, Online F&F facilitator will welcome your participation and will be pleased to answer questions.
  • • Complete the application found here: Family & Friends Training – Application Form

“The meeting was great. I will definitely be making time to attend each week. I feel so much better tonight than I did this morning…I can tell already that this group is where I need to be.”

Join us as SMART Recovery expands to meet the needs of those with a loved one struggling with an addiction.